Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

Nothern Pintail
Anas acuta

  • Habitat: Wetlands including freshwater marshes
  • Range: Widely distributed - North and Central America, Columbia in South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe including Iceland
  • Natural Diet: Omnivorous - leaves, seeds, pondweeds, insects, crustaceans, and arachnids
  • Status In The Wild: Least Concern (Common)


Fun Facts

  • These ducks are called pintails since males sport beautiful long tapering tail feathers.

  • They are dabbling ducks since they dabble along the water's surface, tilting into the water and dipping their beaks in to feed themselves

  •  They are known to migrate long distances across the Atlantic Ocean from North America to Europe

  • While the male's head is dark in color with a white patch on their breasts, the females are tan in color. Their dull coloring helps them camouflage from their predators. The males are brightly colored to attract females during breeding season through their courtship displays

  • Females lay 6 to 9 eggs during the breeding season and are able to lay a second clutch of eggs if the first clutch is lost due to predation.


Conservation Threats

  • Loss of habitat due to urbanization has had a detrimental effect on their free-ranging population numbers
  • Other threats to pintails are avian diseases, illegal hunting, and poisoning by insecticides, pesticides, and lead.


 The zoo houses a pair of pintails in a mixed species aviary

Female Pintail.

Male Pintail (on the right) sport beautiful tail feathers to attract females during the breeding season Female pintails are more dull colored which helps them camouflage with their nests and eggs from predators

Map Northern pintail ducks are found in Canada, Mexico, and the United States